Ruminations on TV Shows, Comics, And Music
To watch all of The Star Trek franchise, it would take you nearly a month of no-sleep-marathoning. Nearly 550 hours at this point. Twenty-four days. AND THEY'RE STILL MAKING MORE. You don't have that kind of time.
I've attempted to put together a much more condensed series of Star Trek. Dividing it into ten episode seasons. For the most part, these are My Favorite Episodes. I've left out some that are historically important episodes, in favor of things that I found fun to watch. If you're a Trekkie or Trekker, or just consider yourself a fan, I may have left off your favorite episode. Sorry. But this is more a list for people like me, who had seen an episode here and there, were interested in seeing more, but don't want to invest in the whole 530+ hours. I'm doing it, so others don't have to.
This is pretty much The Best Of Season Three of Star Trek The Next Generation, reimagined as an episodic arc about alternate timelines. There are no TOS, Enterprise, Discovery, DS9, Voyager, or Picard episodes. Though multiple series will return for the next season.
While Season Four dealt mostly with Data and his Pinnochio Desires, this season we get to spend some time trying to understand Worf and Klingon culture. We also get to see pretty much every crew member at their best at one point this season, with no (S)He goes irrationally crazy and threatens to destroy the ship/the universe/Troi's favorite Yoga Pillow, except, maybe once... I also like imagining this continuity as a complete story that TNG never offered.
Star Trek Season 5:
A Human Being After All
Episode 1: Where No One Has Gone Before
(Wesley, Picard, Riker, Crusher, Laforge, Data, Traveler)
An annoying faux-engineer and his alien counterpart, The Traveler, trying to improve The Enterprise's warp drive. They end up being hurtled far beyond charted space, where they are left at the end of the episode. This is a pro-Wesley episode.
Episode 2: Q Who
(Picard, Q, Riker, Troi, Data, Laforge, Crusher)
I LOATHE Q. He's my least favorite recurring character in all of the Star Trek franchise. But there's no denying his existence, as he pops up in some crucial episodes. For my continuity's sake, the crew mever got back to charted territory in the last episode, so they're still trying to figure out where to go when they encounter the weird Q moron, who leads them straight into the cubey hands of the newest Star Trek enemy race: The Borg!
Episode 3: Remember Me
(Crusher, Picard, Wesley, Traveler, Laforge, Wesley, Data, Troi, Worf, O'Brien)
Returning from their Borg mission, Enterprise docks at a Starfleet base. One of Dr. Crusher's old professors visits the ship, but soon after his arrival, he disappears, and there is no record of him ever existing. Slowly, but surely, the whole Enterprise Crew also starts to disappear. This sounds like some Traveler shenanigans.
Episode 4: Peak Performance
(Picard, Riker, Data, Worf, Wesley, Troi, Pulaski, Laforge, O'Brien)
It's time for war games between Picard and Riker, with the bridge crew being divided between them, as well as Data and a strategy expert (think of an entertainingly weasley chess master) battling over a game of Strategem (think of a Nintendo Wii version of speed chess, that they never explain the rules to...which is to the benefit of the episode). Naturally, something happens that turns the war games into an important life or death struggle. This episode features Pulaski instead of Crusher, as I like to imagine she is still missing from the events of the last episode.
Episode 5: The Emissary
(Worf, Picard, Riker, Troi, Data, Laforge, Pulaski)
Not my favorite episode but it introduces Worf's ex, a half-Klingon/half-human political ambassador whose existence is vital to later continuity. Also, still no Beverly Crusher.
Episode 6: A Matter Of Honor
(Riker, Picard, Data, Worf, Wesley, Pulaski, Laforge)
Klingon culture is complicated, and the early episodes of TNG that focus on Worf and his relation with his heritage are Not Very Good. In this episode, we see the Klingon's through the lens of Riker, who is assigned as First Officer on a Klingon ship. Some chaos ensues when someone similar to Wesley's friend from the first episode fails to alert either The Enterprise or the Klingon that there is something on the Klingon hull that could destroy the ship.
Episode 7: Contagion
(Picard, Riker, Laforge, Worf, Data, Troi, Wesley, Pulaski, O'Brien)
A computer related problem, a lost Starfleet vessel, Romulans, and Pulaski. It's not a great episode, but it has an interesting conceit. And ... no Crusher.
Episode 8: Time Squared
(Picard, Pulaski, Riker, Data, Laforge, Troi, O'Brien)
For our continuity's sake, the technological problem from Contagion is the cause of another glitch, this one phases Picard slightly out of synch with the universe. The crew, including Doctor Pulaski, barely manage to fix the problem, and save Picard. But the slight rip in time leads to
Episode 9: Yesterday's Enterprise
(Picard, Data, Yar, Guinan, Riker, Worf, Laforge, Wesley, Crusher)
A rip in time causes a dimensional change that's a bit like The Mirror Universe we explored in Season Three. The crew isn't evil, but their timeline has changed, and Yar, who died offscreen during the previous season, is back. When they encounter a previous Enterprise crew (the crew from between TOS and TNG), they know they have to send the ship back to its original time, where they all will die, in order to prevent the Starfleet/Klingon war that dominates this Mirrorverse. Any scenes with Beverly Crusher before the time rip are edited out. So that there's some shock for the viewers (but not the crew, who don't know that their timeline has been altered) when both she and Tasha Yar are alive again and part of the crew. Unlike Yar, though, Dr. Crusher gets to stick around, and much like in the actual series, Pulaski is never mentioned, as though she never existed at all.
Episode 10: Evolution
(Wesley, Picard, Riker, Data, Laforge, Crusher, Worf, Troi)
Dr. Bob Kelso from Scrubs was an insufferable prick in the Star Trek universe, as well. His science mission comes in conflict with one of Wesley's school experiments, which is in conflict with The Enterprise's computer. This is one of the best Wesley episodes in the series, and has him acting like his mom was merely away for a while on a mission, and not that she ceased to exist for a while.
Episode 11: The Defector
(Picard, Riker, Data, Worf, Crusher, Laforge, Troi)
For most of the series, the Romulans have been an offscreen threat. We don't even know precisely why they're at war with Starfleet, other than they both want to explore the world and claim it as their own. In this episode, a top officer from The Romulans defects to Starfleet, claiming he knows about a weapon that will change the tide of war.
Episode 12: Deja Q
(Q, Picard, Riker, Data, Worf, Laforge, Troi, Guinan, Crusher)
Q is a godlike creature with a penchant for drama. He's the Scrappy Doo of Star Trek but with unlimited power, which he only uses to be infuriating. But in this episode, he's had his powers stripped by other members of the Q continuum, and is not a threat, just a withstandable annoyance. Also, a moon is going to crash into its planet, killing millions if The Enterprise can't figure out a way to change its course. My continuity tweak would be to make his failure to help with the Borg situation earlier in the season the reason he is punished.
Episode 13: Sins Of The Father
(Worf, Picard, Riker, Data, Wesley, Laforge, Crusher, Troi)
Earlier this season, we saw Riker transferred to a Klingon ship as part of an exchange program. This season, a Klingon officer comes to work on The Enterprise. But, OH SHIT, it's Worf's younger brother, and he has some distressing family news.
Episode 14: Reunion
(Worf, Picard, Riker, Data, Wesley, Laforge, Crusher, Troi)
The fallout of "Sins Of The Father" come into play, and one of Worf's exes shows up to help mitigate it. She's brought a surprise, and so have they.
Episode 15: Sarek
(Picard, Sarek, Riker, Crusher, Data, Laforge, Worf, Troi)
The crew of The Enterprise hosts Spock's dad and his ... new wife? It turns out that Sarek has what's essentially Vulcan dementia, and it completely messes with the crew.
Episode 16: Menage A Troi
(Troi, Riker, Lwaxana, Picard, Crusher, Wesley, Data, Worf, Laforge)
Troi's mom is Trouble. While trying to hook her daughter up with Riker, she ends up ensnared in a Ferengi plot. Plus, Wesley is getting ready to leave The Enterprise for Starfleet Academy.
Serial 1: Best Of Both Worlds
(Riker, Picard, Data, Worf, Laforge, Crusher, Wesley, Guinan, Troi)
The Borg are back in town! And they abduct one of The Enterprise crew and turn them into The Borg before heading to Earth to assimilate the human race.
Episode 19: Hollow Pursuits
(Laforge, Riker, Barclay, Picard, Data, Wesley, Troi , Worf, Crusher)
I hate holodeck episodes, and this is not generally considered one of the best of them, but it does introduce Barclay who ... sigh ... we will be seeing again later.
Episode 20: Family
(Picard, Worf, Troi, Riker, Crusher, Wesley)
After the cataclysmic events of the last episode, the crew has some down time, and we get some insight on the off-mission lives of Picard, Worf, and the Crushers. This is unlike any other TNG episode, and it's a cool change of pace. And a precursor to something that will take place several seasons in the future.